Buying your first home can be an exciting time! You’re about to become a homeowner, after all. But if you’re not careful, it can also be an extremely stressful time, thanks to the seemingly impossible task of finding an affordable home that meets your needs in the increasingly competitive market. Here’s one setting on Zillow that can help you sort through your search and find the perfect home—quickly!
The setting you need to change is…
The setting you need to change on Zillow is the Zestimate. The Zestimate is Zillow’s estimate of a home’s value and it is often inaccurate. By changing this setting, you will get a more realistic idea of home prices in your area. Here’s how to do it
- Go to Settings on the left side of your screen
- Click on Find Your Way
- Click Estimated Value and then enter the address or name of your property
- Choose between Zestimate or Sold Price.
The price range box
If you’re like most homebuyers, you start your search online. And if you’re using Zillow, Trulia, or Redfin, you’re probably using the price range filter to try and narrow down your results. But did you know that the default setting on these sites is no maximum? That means that if you’re looking in a $500,000 neighborhood, the site will show you homes all the way up to $999,999.
Your home value estimate
If you’re looking at your home value on Zillow and thinking, That can’t be right, you might be right. A recent study found that Zillow’s home value estimates are often inaccurate, with a median error rate of 2.5%. The errors in Zillow estimates stem from their automated valuation models (AVMs) which don’t take into account factors like lot size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and building style. By manually adjusting the settings in Zillow based on your lot size, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, building style, etc., you can get a more accurate estimate.
Exclude your neighborhood
When you’re looking for a new home, it’s easy to get caught up in the dream. But if you want your search to be more realistic, there’s one setting you need to change on Zillow. For instance, I wanted to see what homes were available in my neighborhood. The site popped up with a list of houses that weren’t even close to my price range. That’s when I realized that by default, Zillow sets its minimum house value at $1 million. So when you’re searching through properties and not seeing anything you like, go into Settings and set the minimum value to something closer to what you can afford – $100k or less. From there, Zillow will only show listings for which the cost is within 10% of your desired price range.
When you’re looking for a new home, it’s important to be realistic about what you can afford. The first step is to find a location that’s within your budget. Zillow can be a great resource for this, but there’s one setting you need to change in order to get accurate results. Select the Filters tab at the top of the page and click on Advanced Filters. Find the Maximum Price option and set it to something lower than your target price range. Now hit search and watch how many listings pop up!
Limit the number of homes on your search results
When you’re looking for a new home, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of options out there. But did you know that you can actually limit the number of homes that show up in your search results on Zillow? Once you enter an address or city into the Zillow search bar, scroll down and click Show only this many listings within miles of here. Selecting between five and 100 miles will give you just enough homes to browse without getting lost in too many options.